Beatles on iTunes was the rumor that dominated one week’s worth of press cycles. Cheaper iPods were also talked about, as were Wi-Fi iPods.

Actually, the rumor mill got most of it right. That is, except for online Beatles tunes. Guess we’ll still have to wait for that one.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced a new iPod and upgrades to existing models, such as the Nano, which now plays video. This year’s wonder gadget, the iPhone, now has a lower price tag.

The new iPod on the block is the iPod Touch, which is kind of like an iPhone minus the phone.

The iPod Touch is less than an inch thick and has a 3.5-inch touch screen interface. Like the iPhone, it can be used for video, music and pictures, and has Wi-Fi capabilities for downloading songs and surfing the Net. Cost? An 8-gigabyte iPod Touch is $299 and a 16-gig version will set you back $399.

But a Wi-Fi capable iPod was only part of the equation. Apple also announced the launch of the iTunes Wi-Fi Store along with a Starbucks deal where iPod Touch and iPhone users can connect at no charge to purchase music.

Starting next month, 600 Starbucks stores in New York and Seattle will be iTunes Wi-Fi compatible, with 350 Starbucks locations in the San Francisco area joining in November. When an iPod Touch owner enters or just passes by one of those coffee shops, a Starbucks icon will light up on the player’s display. Like the original iTunes, individual tracks purchased from iTunes Wi-Fi will cost 99 cents.

Apple watchers had predicted the company would eventually introduce an iPod that bypasses the computer. But while iPhone and iPod Touch can download music wirelessly, removing the need for a computer, that doesn’t mean a computer is completely out of the picture.

That’s because songs downloaded wirelessly to the iPod Touch and iPhone can then be downloaded to a computer’s iTunes library when the devices are connected. Also, if users wirelessly downloaded only a portion of the song, the computer will complete the download once the device is connected.

Speaking of iPhones …

Remember in June when news reports were filled with stories about people camping out overnight in line so they could be the first ones on their blocks to own Apple’s latest gadget? When iPhones finally hit store shelves, the music player / cell phone / media devices were priced at $599 for an 8-gig model and $399 for a 4-gig iPhone.

Now Apple is cutting $200 from its 8-gig iPhone for a leaner retail price of $399 and will phase out the 4-gig phone. This goes against the way Apple usually does things; the company has been known to keep the original price of an item while introducing more bells and whistles as the years go by.

But with all the glitz centered on iPod Touch, iPhone and iTunes Wi-Fi, what about the gadget that started it all back in 2001? Was a little upgrade magic in store for the original iPod?

You bet. Of course, even before Wednesday’s announcement, the current iPod wasn’t exactly like the original. Apple did away with buttons in favor of the click wheel in 2004 and then upgraded to video in 2005.

Now called iPod Classic, the new units have up to 160 gigs of storage and come in an all-metal case. Top price is $349 and an 80-gig model costs $249.

And to think that only three years ago $349 bought you a 40-gig iPod capable of playing only music. Those were the days.